When it comes to making big power, there is one word that comes to mind. Boost! Loads of fun and you can make some sounds that can leave any enthusiast salivating. Turbochargers and superchargers can be a great way to make serious power.
BUT With Great Boost Comes Great Responsibility
What I mean by that, is too much boost may require you to build your engine to handle that much pressure.
The use of forged internal parts is often the route most boost hungry enthusiasts tend to go on. Some vehicles can handle being switched from naturally aspirated to turbocharged or supercharged without having to build the engine right away.
For example; the 350z with a Procharger or Vortech supercharger is a brilliant way to add power because they make kits that can create large amounts of power and still be safe for a stock block. The APS Turbo kit on a 370z is a great way to create a twin turbo “streetable” monster and still use a stock block as well.
Centrifugal, Twin Screw or Roots Style Superchargers
Let’s dig a little deeper. Superchargers are belt driven, they can be what’s called a centrifugal, twin screw or roots style. The centrifugal supercharger will sit in front of the engine or just off to the side of the engine as the pulley will need to be inline with the crankshaft pulley depending on the intended setup. Centrifugal superchargers tend to lack power on the bottom end of the rpm range.
The twin screw setup is another style. It compresses the air to build boost, it will usually sit on top of the engine depending on design and will be great for creating boost at lower RPM’s, the difficult part is to create boost at higher RPM’s.
With all groups of things there is always an odd ball of the group and if you ask me it’s the roots style supercharger. This style will give you aggressive boost building from idle and throughout the entire RPM range. This style will usually give you the highest horsepower gains.
So Many Options
Turbochargers have many different types and configurations that can be put together to achieve a level of efficiency that will suit your needs. Turbo setups can vary by number of turbos in a single system. Twin scroll turbos, variable geometry turbos, variable twin scroll turbos, electric turbos are some of the many different types of turbo that can be used to tailor your power band and the way your turbo creates boost.
Turbochargers to Increase Fuel Economy
Turbochargers are usually associated with making big power but they can also be used to increase fuel economy. Many of the automotive manufacturers have been utilizing this technology to get the most out of a small displacement engines power and gas mileage. Turbochargers can be mounted many ways to accommodate your setup, some have mounted turbos behind the front bumper or headlight, some have rotated the turbos to allow the use of bigger turbos, and some have even been known to even mount turbos at the back of the car.
When you’re looking for a way to add a lot of power to your vehicle a supercharger or turbocharger is always a great way to go. Every style of forced induction has its own way of creating boost and they all have there benefits and draw-backs but one thing is for sure, when either of them are being put through their paces they both make real undeniable horse power and torque.